Germans – their cute and specific traits

Germany has about 82 million inhabitants. It is by far the largest country in the EU in terms of population. Germany is a modern, cosmopolitan country. Its society is shaped by a plurality of life styles and truly different ethno-cultural diversity. Forms of coexistence have become more varied, and the scope individuals enjoy has become greater. German people are often considered as rude, cold and humorless. This is quite a stereotype and whether it’s true or not you will discover yourself when living in Germany. Nevertheless, here are some traits Germans have in common.

Interesting Facts About Germans: Germans

Interesting Facts About Germans

They are righteous and honest

Germans are very honest, (most of them) they are very true to their feelings towards others, they will always show you if they hate your or like you. They seem to have a fear from strangers, but once they know you they are no longer blunt and cold. Germans become lifelong friends if they get along with you. This explains why they love dogs so much.

A dog’s life in Germany is not a “dog’s life” at all

German society is very structured and Germans themselves can be quite reserved, but throw a puppy in the mix, and an entirely different person bursts forth, cooing, smiling and chatting. Dogs are often seen out and about in restaurants and shops and travelling on public transport.

Interesting Facts About Germans: Let sleeping dogs lie
Let sleeping dogs lie: Photo Mister GC / CC 2.0

They speak English like pros

Most Germans (of a certain age) speak very good English, which makes them slightly smug, especially when only three non-natives in the history of the world have ever been able to master German. This is mainly because many German words, as Mark Twain once noted, are “so long that they have a perspective.” One of the longest words in the German dictionary is Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz, for example, which loosely means “No”.

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Please means yes and thanks means no

Confusing, huh? Here’s an example. If you’re asked in German whether you would like some more of that delicious German beer, make sure you don’t simply say “danke (“thanks”), assuming that will get you more. “Danke” will be interpreted as “no, thanks.” If you do want more, then say “bitte” (“please”), which in this context means “yes, please.” Otherwise, you might go thirsty.

The “naked feet”

Many Germans simply do not understand thongs/flip flops/sandals as viable footwear. Even when it’s warm and sunny, and a boot is impractical or too warm for the feet to be comfortable. Outside of a very small, very obviously Summer window, they will stare, bewildered, at thonged feet and quietly wonder if the wearer is mad. Germans struggle enormously with the concept of ‘naked feet’. It is better feet be clothed at all times.

The famous gesture

To ask for a beer in a pub, you would use your thumb to indicate “one” rather than your index finger (watch Inglorious Basterds for improper examples of ordering beer).

“Do it once and do it well”

Germans are stoic people who strive for perfectionism and precision in all aspects of their lives. They do not admit faults, even jokingly, and rarely hand out compliments.  They are good at mostly anything they do. Or, if they’re not, they try hard and become competent. They have a much-used saying: “Wenn schon, denn schon”. In English, this means that if something is worth doing at all, it is worth doing right. It seems that the Germans never do something half-way.

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